Combating the Myth Behind Holiday Pet Adoption

One of the hottest debates this time of year for everyone involved in animal welfare is: to adopt or not to adopt? People want animals! Let’s speed up our adoptions and welcome these fur babies to new homes! But who is to say that buyers of new pets will keep them? How do we know they won’t throw them out on the street? Adopt! Don’t adopt! It’s an episodic tug-of-war and the animals are stuck in the middle.

Despite research showing otherwise, people still believe that animals are widely mistreated or abandoned when given as pets. In fact, not only did the ASPCA find that a onWith the vast majority of animals remaining at home, a study published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science said that among the various reasons an animal was abandoned, the “unused gift” came at some point. below0.3% in dogs and 0.4% in cats. This same study actually found that dogs received as gifts were significantly less likely to be returned than dogs purchased or adopted by the family themselves.

Just a few simple questions

So if research alone doesn’t encourage the promotion of holiday adoptions, the key may lie in preparation. Something as simple as a pre-adoption questionnaire if someone comes in looking for an adoption gift. Is the recipient more active and adventurous or a happy homebody? Do they have children? Other pets? Simple questions that can help you find the perfect new addition to that family.

Involve the community

If holiday adoptions still make you nervous, why not prepare a complete adoption packet for the recipient detailing basic information about the animal? Where to find quality supplies, what supplies they’ll need right away, helpful training information, and much more! (If you are a current Pawlytics user, go to the knowledge base and search for adoption packets to learn how you can automatically generate them for your adopters.) This information is not only useful to the recipient, but also to the donor of the gift. also if they wish to enhance their gift with a basket of basic necessities!

Getting your animals adopted doesn’t have to be a solo job. Contact your local retailers and see if they would be willing to offer discount coupons or free items to your adopters. This encourages traffic to their business, but also reassures you that the pet is getting what they need. People are much less likely to abandon something they’ve invested in. So encourage them to invest!

Finally, when you want, you can, and the Internet is full of ideas to help you achieve it. If you’re not already a member of Maddie’s Pet Forum, you’ll find great conversations about holiday specials and adoption procedures. You can also join HASS discussions on Facebook or simply contact other shelters in your area. Saving animals is a collective effort, so let’s all take advantage of this time of year when everyone comes together the most and bring more animals home.


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